There are moments throughout the course of history that unite a country. We come together to celebrate events such as Canada’s 150th anniversary, but we also join together when tragedy strikes.
With 119 years in business, the Mannix Family and their loyal employees have felt the impact of many national and international tragedies. The Second World War was a significant time in Canada. As our troops headed off to fight, those who stayed at home worked hard to produce resources for the war effort, creating a massive economic boost that lifted Canada out of the Great Depression. Between 1939 and 1944, steel production increased 120 percent and aluminum production rose by almost 500 percent.
To support the war effort, Fred Mannix & Company Ltd. worked at a breakneck pace. Mannix crews were seen throughout Western Canada building airports, hydroelectric dams and major highway projects.
“The war came along in ’39 and put a new perspective on everything,” recalled former Alberta premier Ernest C. Manning. “The whole idea was to get it built. Anything goes. No public hearings or anything else. It was a whole new ball game. Everything was geared to getting it done as quickly as you could. And if anyone had the expertise and the equipment, you wanted to get them involved and get them to work. The Mannix group had a tremendous reputation in coal mining. They were in that in a big way right from the start — a great record.”
When Canada was chosen as an ideal air training centre, the focus shifted to major airport construction. The first airport to be built under the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan was the Currie Barracks field in Calgary, Alberta.
That spirit of nationalist pride is one that has resurged many times through the decades and this year, we unite in celebration. Canada’s 150th anniversary remains a time to connect with our communities, to reflect on uplifting memories and look forward to a future of inspiration.